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Shorts In A Box At The Hancock

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 1, 2011 3:40PM

from "The Dude," directed by Jeff Feuerzeig
In our view, short movies are woefully underrated. They force the filmmaker to get to the point, and a good short can often say more in five minutes than a mediocre feature-length movie can in two hours. There are plenty of places to see 'em too: we love watching Wholphin at home, and every year at CIFF we make a point of catching the shorts programs. This weekend at the Hancock we can cross "watching shorts in a shipping container" off our bucket list.

USA Network has teamed up with the Scott brothers (Ridley "Alien" Scott and Tony "Top Gun" Scott) to present the USA Character Project. It's a program of seven shorts (none of which were actually directed by the Scotts, we should note), currently touring the country in tricked out "screening capsules." The modified shipping containers feature comfy seats and air-conditioning, allowing viewers to take in a mosaic of quirky Americans from all walks of life. The Dude, from filmmaker Jeff Feuerzeig, profiles Jeff Dowd, the real-life inspiration for Jeff Bridges' character in The Big Lebowski. Another, Fish, documents chef Jon Shook as he prepares for the opening of his new seafood restaurant. The other tales chronicle the perils of childhood, wacky quests for love, and living with mental illness; in other words, they sum up America nicely. In case you can't make it this weekend you can watch the shorts online. But why would you want to miss the chance to hang out in a shipping container?

The free screenings will run continuously Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on the Hancock Building Apron